Kategorie-Archiv: Islamofascism

Islamofascism: The Coming Universal New World Order.

It’s me can’t you see

Edo Pivčević’s latest book Man is a Rational Animal has just been published in America.

It has become commonplace for Moslems who recoil in horror from the Isil-Daesh atrocities to insist that Islam is a ‘religion of peace’. Even a British Prime minister has described it as such in the British House of Commons. No doubt they all earnestly desire it to be so. But if ‘peace’ means being ready to allow space for beliefs contrary to one’s own to be expressed and flourish, then this is difficult to reconcile with the ferocious diatribe in the opening chapters of the Koran against the ‘unbelievers’ – meaning principally Jews and Christians – who, it is alleged, have ‘monstrously corrupted’ God’s message as revealed by their own apostles from Abraham to Moses and Jesus.

The entire Koran is conceived primarily as an indictment of what Mohammad and his followers saw as a scandalous vitiation and debasement of God’s revelations in the Jewish Torah and the Christian Gospel. The Jews are accused of hypocritically professing allegiance to the all-embracing Abrahamic faith while at the same time trying to make it serve their own ends and ‘debarring others from the path of God’. They ‘disclaim’ responsibility for executing Jesus while actually ‘wanting him to be killed’. In addition, they engage in ‘usury although they were forbidden it’, and ‘cheat others of their possessions’ (4:158). As far as Christians are concerned, they are guilty of sacrilegiously proclaiming Jesus to be the ‘Son of God’ and of having fabricated the absurd doctrine of the Trinity, which violates the principle of monotheistic faith.

But the main underlying charge laid against both Jews and Christians is that they have turned God’s message into something very close to a tribal ideology, designed to serve their own sectional interests. The Jews see themselves as God’s favourite nation and a cut above the rest, and the Christian world, while ostensibly preaching the message of universal love and brotherhood, has become inextricably entangled with the beliefs and traditions of Greco-Roman civilisation, and is trying in effect to foist western values on the rest of humanity.

As against such ‘monstrous’ distortions of the faith the message of the Koran is that one should submit unconditionally to one God, who, it is claimed, stands above everything and everyone, and punishes or rewards Jew or Gentile alike. It is blasphemous to think of such a God as furthering any sectional interests or being susceptible to being swayed by offerings or entreaties. God cannot be attributed any human-like characteristics, and any attempt to portray him, or explain his actions, in human terms is an act of sacrilegious idolatry, and by far the worst sin one can commit.

Nevertheless, God, it seems, has some very specific things to say about how humans should conduct their lives. These are all listed in the Koran, which is said to be a verbatim account of what he, God, had revealed to Mohammad in a dream through the Angel Gabriel, and – as one is being menacingly told in the very first sentence – is a ‘book not to be doubted’ (2:1). Those who refuse to accept, or deliberately go against, God’s ‘revelations’ as set out in the Koran will be punished most severely, for God is ‘mighty and capable of revenge’ (3:4). Admittedly God is also ‘compassionate and merciful’, but his mercy and compassion, it seems, extends only to those who are prepared to repent and submit to his will. The unbelievers who decline to do so will become ‘the fuel of Hell’. This in particular applies to Jews and Christians, who are the ‘vilest of creatures’ (98:1). They are ‘servants of Satan’ and the duty of all believers is to be ‘ruthless’ to them, while being ‘merciful to one another’ (48:29)

Note that ‘being ruthless’ here is meant literally, not just as a figure of speech. ‘Believers’ – God, through his prophet, tells the faithful – ‘make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Deal firmly with them. Know that God is with the righteous’ (9:121). This is an essential part of the message, and is a duty no-one can shirk. For ‘…if you do not go to war, he [God] will punish you sternly, and will replace you by other men’ (9:37). Appealing to conscience is not an option. One should put aside any qualms one might have about killing recalcitrant unbelievers. Nor should one hesitate to lay down one’s own life in defence of the faith. True believers, one is being told, ‘will fight for the cause of God, they will slay and be slain [italics added]. Such is the true promise which He [God] has made them in the Torah, the Gospel and the Koran’(9:111). One should accept this unconditionally and act accordingly, for ‘idolatry is more grievous than bloodshed’ (2:189; 2:216).

In other words, there can be no ‘fraternisation’ with non-Moslems. Indeed the Holy Book explicitly warns believers against making friends with infidels. ‘Believers do not make friends with those who are enemies of Mine [God’s] and yours.’ (60:1). As to who the main enemies are, here the finger once again is being pointed at the same old bogeys. ‘Take neither the Jews nor the Christians for your friends’ – the faithful are told. ‘They are friends with one another. Whoever of you seeks their friendship shall become one of their number’ (5:51) – and joining their ranks is virtually the same as apostasy, which is a ‘treason’ punishable by death.

At the same time, God’s munificence in rewarding the faithful knows no bounds. Whereas unbelievers will fry in Hell, the believers in afterlife will dwell in ‘high Pavilions’ in gardens ‘watered by running streams’, with abundant fruit and drink, surrounded by ‘bashful, dark-eyed virgins, as chaste as the sheltered eggs of ostriches’ (37:48). Indeed, says the Holy Book, the ‘dark-eyed houris’ will be ‘theirs’ as a ‘guerdon for their deeds’ (56:6) – which suggests all manner of alarming possibilities. Significantly there is no mention what rewards, if any, await the female devotees of the faith, apart, that is, from being able to enjoy wearing expensive jewellery. Which, perhaps, is not all that surprising, considering that the Koran declares men to have a ‘status above women’ (2:226) and generally as being ‘superior’ to them (4:34).

But the bashful, dark-eyed virgins seem to be just an added bonus, for God demands unconditional submission, not just compliance in exchange for reward. This includes a commitment to restore the Abrahamic faith to its original purity and wage war against all those who have perverted its message. When Mohammad came on the scene endless religious squabbles and rampant factionalism were convulsing the Judeo-Christian world. There were long standing theological disputes about predestination, the nature of the Trinity and the divinity of Jesus, among many others, which invariably spilled out into the political sphere and frequently led to bloodshed. Faced with such a situation Mohammad saw himself as a reformer with a mission to defend God’s original message from what he saw as ‘evil misrepresentations’ at the hands of both Jews and Christians. Not unlike Martin Luther, who nine centuries later tried to rescue ‘the true core’ of the Christian doctrine from the idolatrous clatter of the Roman church, so Mohammad too tried to wrench the genuine Abrahamic faith from what he saw as the clutches of the heretics. The only problem was that – as often happens in similar circumstances – his initial reformatory motivation soon escalated into a fanatical zeal, which was murderous in intent and brooked no dissent.

At the same time, Mohammad was anxious for Islam to be seen as the only genuinely ‘universal’ religion. Both Judaism and Greco-Roman Christianity, as he saw it, had become too insular to be able to carry God’s message successfully to everyone, or, for that matter, to incorporate into their teachings the customs and social norms which in other cultures had existed for centuries. The Jews and the Christians, he was saying, had used the traditional Biblical message merely to further their own sectional interests, and had turned what ought to be a universal faith into a parochial idolatry. Such a heresy, he thought, was serious enough – and threatening enough – to justify taking up arms in order to uproot it.

All this is like the stance which the mediaeval Christian church took against the non-Christian world, including the world of Islam. It too waged a war against the unbelievers in the name of the ‘catholic’, ie ‘universal’, faith. Nevertheless there is an important difference. For whereas the proselytising Christian ecclesia militans has gradually become less strident, for the established Church was taught a severe political lesson during the Age of Enlightenment. The French revolution laid the foundations of the modern secular state; Islam still seems to be a long way off from our own rationalist awakening.

(All quotations are taken from the translation of the Koran by N J Dawood, 1999.)

This article is in the current edition of The Salisbury Review. (Paper and Digital Versions  – subscribe)

Edo Pivčević’s latest book Man is a Rational Animal has just been published in America.

What Muslims Really Think

Explosive Belt.

A survey was conducted by ICM Research for the Channel 4 documentary, “What British Muslims Really Think,” which aired on April 13 2016. The 615-page survey found that more than 100,000 British Muslims sympathise with suicide bombers and people who commit other terrorist acts. Moreover, only one in three British Muslims (34%) would contact the police if they believed that somebody close to them had become involved with jihadists. In addition, 23% of British Muslims said Islamic Sharia law should replace British law in areas with large Muslim populations.  Gatestone Institute

Keep calm and carry on denying

Mother Theresa II takes the veil

I was in the Mall Gallery yesterday looking at some rather humdrum English landscapes and still life. It’s a pleasant place with a nice cafe just near Admiralty Arch, and I usually enjoy meeting friends there, but for once it wasn’t a good place to be. It’s also near Westminster. After about half an hour drifting about wondering why so few people can paint anymore, mayhem crashed in from outside. Someone heard guns shots, I don’t think I would recognised them, and a security guard appeared in the doorway telling us to keep  inside. People from the street rushed in to join us, for their own safety. We didn’t know it had been a police special squad shooting, so an unspoken thought came to us, clear on people’s faces, that there could be a Jihadists outside or nearby.

A few of us, smiling and joking went to look at the loos wondering if they might be a good place to hide if anyone came in with a machine gun. They weren’t. There was nowhere to go and for a time we couldn’t get out. Like people in offices all over Westminster, including the BBC reporter Laura Kuenssberg, we all had to sit tight. It was best to just forget about the risk looming outside on this Spring day and go back to looking at the sentimental images and our mobiles.

I contacted the editor of the Salisbury Review as some of the editorial staff and readers were meeting at 6pm at the Athenaeum. He made a few jokes about my dying as a martyr for the magazine, and thereby putting the circulation up, then realised it was serious and decided that the social event had to be cancelled. Some people were on their way from Manchester and coming up from Devon. When all was deemed safe and they let us out again I made a dash for the bus home. I was worried they might start closing the tubes and it wasn’t nice travelling on them, everyone was very tense.

Perhaps surprisingly this was my first experience of a terrorist attack. In 2015, a total of two hundred and eleven completed, failed, or foiled terrorist attacks were reported by EU states, resulting in one hundred and fifty one fatalities (148 in France, 130 of them in the November 2015 Paris attacks.) Over three hundred and sixty people have been injured. To that we can now add twenty more, including French school children.

Last September Sadiq Khan, London’s mayor, pointed out in case we’d missed it, that the threat of terrorist attacks are ‘part and parcel of living in a big city. ’ He encouraged Londoners to be vigilant to combat dangers, without saying exactly how.

He revealed he’d had a bad night after previous bombings in New York, but opined usefully that the world ‘has got to be prepared for these sorts of things,’ to happen when people least expect them.

So, Muslim culture has not yet been normalised in the UK, despite the best efforts of liberals and the Church of England with its all enveloping ‘interfaith dialogue,’ but Islamic terrorism is now normal. I know older people who were children during the war. One of them told me yesterday, ‘People used to go home to find their houses were gone. But they just went to work the next day and carried on.’

After cooking a hearty breakfast on a primus stove in the rubble no doubt. But when he says terror is part and parcel of daily life, something to be expected, I don’t think Khan is really talking about the famous British stiff upper lip. To my ears, his words speak of a required tacit silence about violence, an almost passive acceptance that we now have to have it, in the same way that people on the Left used to insist that a high crime rate was a price worth paying for social ‘freedom.’ We have to have terrorism in our cities because a proportion of Muslims here and abroad believe they are victims and want it.

The big difference between then and now, between Nazi aerial attacks, Irish bombs and one off extremist nutters, is that with Muslim terrorism we are not supposed to oppose the enemy. Instead he is to be given understanding and as far as possible accommodated.

This was confirmed on the extended BBC News at 10am last night when a high ranking member of the Met Police told the BBC that the force would, ‘Seek to reassure the Muslim community,’ after the suffering they’d endured due to, ‘Right wing extremism.’

What exactly this extremism amounted to I don’t know. Perhaps the fiendish capitalist press has kept it away from me. This morning on the Today Programme Muslim leaders were criticising the police Prevent programme which aims to prevent youngsters being radicalised, like the home grown soldier for the Caliphate yesterday. It was obvious from their reaction to the police initiative that they want to police themselves, and will brook no interference from outside. Most Muslims in our cities live in impermeable ghettos and like it that way.

This was followed by the recantation of a popular liturgy from the day before. From Mrs May through Sadiq Kahn, Liam Fox who called for, ‘tolerance,’ and others, it was proclaimed that we will not let the terrorists, those unknown, deeply mysterious blokes who we cannot control, divide our ‘communities.’ That means of course, but is never said, Muslims from the rest of us.

England, that is the most densely populated part of the UK, as anyone knows who really lives in it, using state schools and healthcare, public transport rather than taxis or limousines already completely divided and Byzantine in its complexity. For centuries it has been divided by class. The castes rarely meet or intermarry and do not even converse happily if they can help it. Since the 1960s we have been increasingly divided by ethnicity, which can be related to class but is chiefly now about the protected belief system of the Muslims. No one lives together, no one can. Only politicians and clergypersons weave this disingenuous fantasy that things are otherwise.

Khan began again, spinning out further his fantasy of England and its people, telling us that most terrorists are not from any faith group. He added that, ‘We celebrate each other.’

He’d like it to be like that of course, most of us would. But for anything like that to happen Islam will have to reform itself and change its approach to living in the West, in western cities. We would also have to insist that they do this, or tell them to leave. What are the chances of that?

Our Readiness for a Terrorist Attack Is Dangerously Low

Updated on February 20 at 4:40 p.m. ET

President Donald Trump has made national security a centerpiece of his agenda, justifying policies ranging from a travel ban to close relations with Russia. But the United States is now more vulnerable to attack than it was before Trump took office, according to the man who served as George W. Bush’s crisis manager on 9/11.

“In terms of a major terrorist attack in the United States or on U.S. facilities, I think we’re significantly less ready than we were on January 19,” said Richard Clarke, who served on the National Security Council in the George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush administrations. “I think our readiness is extremely low and dangerously low. Certainly [government] agencies at a professional level will respond [to an attack], but having a coordinated interagency response is unlikely given the current cast of characters [in the administration] and their experience.”

Clarke’s conclusion is based in part on the upheaval on the National Security Council, an organization created in 1947 within the White House to coordinate national-security policymaking across the federal government (the council’s purpose and structure have changed over time, with the staff ballooning from dozens of people under George H.W. Bush to hundreds under Barack Obama). In recent days, that upheaval has included the resignation of National-Security Adviser Michael Flynn and the dismissal of a senior official on the council for publicly criticizing the president. With a major review of America’s strategy to fight ISIS coming due at the end of the month, the national-security adviser position lay vacant for a week, after the leading candidate to replace Flynn turned down the job. On Monday, Trump named H.R. McMaster, a prominent military strategist, as Flynn’s successor.

“I’ve never seen anything quite like it,” said Clarke, who spent 30 years in government, of the current turbulence at the National Security Council. George H.W. Bush replaced much of the staff from Ronald Reagan’s council, Clarke noted, but the new people were in place within the first few days of Bush’s administration. (Over the weekend, an anonymous Trump official told CNN that it was “dead wrong” to say the National Security Council was in chaos and ill-prepared for a crisis, noting that the council has been involved in the administration’s designation of Venezuela’s vice president as a drug kingpin and in arranging the president’s string of phone calls and meetings with world leaders.)

Clarke’s assessment is also based on the background of the council’s leaders; Flynn’s deputy, K.T. McFarland, was previously a Fox News analyst and last worked in government as a public-affairs official in the Reagan administration, over 30 years ago. Tom Bossert, Trump’s homeland-security adviser, has experience responding to natural disasters, Clarke pointed out, and the military veterans (including McMaster) in contention for Flynn’s position when we spoke on Sunday had a wealth of combat experience. But that’s different than ensuring that a hulking government bureaucracy reacts swiftly and effectively to an incident like a terrorist attack. “I don’t know that there’s a single person [on Trump’s National Security Council] who’s ever had a senior position managing a national-security crisis out of Washington,” Clarke said.

Before Vice President Dick Cheney and National-Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice asked Clarke—then the council’s national coordinator for security and counterterrorism—to act as a crisis manager on September 11, Clarke had been involved in responding to dozens of national-security crises. And he’d participated in many “tabletop exercises”—simulations of emergencies of the kind that the Obama administration staged for several top Trump officials shortly before Inauguration Day.

“You have all the senior people who would actually have a role in a crisis and you get them all together” for a few hours, Clarke said, in describing the exercises. “You have news reports, intelligence reports. … [The participants] get false reporting, because in a real crisis a lot of the reporting you get is not true. And you don’t have time to chase it down; information just bubbles up fast. The normal filters that verify things are taken off. … People are calling them from other [parts of] the world, congressmen are calling them, U.S. ambassadors are asking for guidance, U.S. commanders overseas are asking for guidance. You get intelligence reports that things are about to happen. … You try to divert their attention from the real thing they should be focusing on. You give them really hard policy choices that they probably haven’t thought of before.” The participants come away with a list of ways to improve on their performance.

As a result, on 9/11, “I knew what to do,” Clarke told me. “I quickly had the heads of all the agencies up on TV screens [in the Situation Room]. And I knew from playing games of major terrorist incidents what were some of the things we had to do and who had the power to do them. So, for example, we immediately instituted the continuity-of-government system, which turned on alternative headquarters in case headquarters in Washington were blown up or disconnected. We immediately grounded all the aircraft in the air. We immediately closed all the ports and border crossings. We called up [Federal Emergency Management Agency] units to help with disaster cleanup and recovery. We locked down all the embassies around the world. We put all U.S. military forces on high alert. There’s a whole checklist of things that we went through. And we had done those exact same things in the exercise.”

The National Security Council, Clarke explained, is like an “orchestra conductor,” harmonizing the work of agencies ranging from the FBI to FEMA to the Federal Aviation Administration. “There was a tendency in the [George W.] Bush administration to think of the [National Security Council] as a foreign-policy organization. It’s not. That’s the State Department,” Clarke said. “There appears to be a tendency in this administration to think of [the council] as an extension of the military. And it’s not. National security is a very broad spectrum of capabilities of civilian, military, and intelligence agencies.”

Is such an elaborate interagency process really necessary? I asked. After all, if it comes in the wake of a terrorist attack, the immediate damage has already been done.

“You say the terrorist attack has already happened. Maybe it hasn’t,” Clarke responded. “Maybe you are getting information that a major terrorist attack is about to occur. That’s when the decisions get really tough. Do you believe the information? How do you corroborate the information? What are you willing to do in light of that information? One of the exercises we played frequently was: credible intelligence reports that a nuclear bomb was being smuggled into an American city. Do you evacuate that city? Evacuating a major American city will create chaos and deaths. What if the reports are wrong? And if the terrorists see you evacuating the city, maybe they’ll put the bomb off early.”

“Then, when the terrorist attack does start, you never know whether it’s the only one that’s going to happen,” Clarke continued. “They tend very often to come in pairs, or groups. When we started on 9/11, the Pentagon had not been hit. [Our] meeting was going on when the Pentagon was hit. I could see people on the TV screen in the Pentagon reacting as the building was shaking. First reports are always wrong: We were told that there were four other aircraft in the air. So we expected additional attacks, and we had to scramble fighter planes and evacuate buildings. We evacuated not only the White House. We evacuated all federal buildings, not only in Washington but around the country. We evacuated all the high-rise buildings we could on a voluntary basis around the country.”

Clarke is concerned not just with the Trump administration’s preparedness for a national-security incident—be it an act of terrorism or a provocation from a country like Iran or North Korea—but also with its approach thus far to national-security threats. In the first month of a typical administration, Clarke said, the National Security Council’s Principals Committee—a kind of “board of directors”—would prioritize issues to develop policy on and then hand the list off to the council’s Deputies Committee, which would organize working groups that consult with government agencies and produce policy proposals. Eventually, the president might approve those proposals as policy. As an example of how this process works, he cited a sarin-gas attack in Japan in 1995, which prompted President Clinton to ask Clarke and his colleagues for a study on the risk of terrorists using chemical and biological weapons in the United States. Within a few weeks, National Security Council staffers concluded that the U.S. was unprepared for that form of terrorism, and suggested a plan and a budget for a training program that was ultimately rolled out in 157 U.S. cities.

“I have never seen in anything that has happened in the last month any [such] analysis,” Clarke said. (He noted that the standard National Security Council process has been bypassed before, as when Cheney and Bush’s defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, hatched plans for the Iraq War. In his memoir, Clarke strongly criticized this decision, and claimed that the Bush White House ignored his warnings about al-Qaeda prior to 9/11.) Trump officials appear to “begin with an assumption that they know what the problems are, and very often it doesn’t seem like the problems that they’re trying to address on a priority basis actually exist. They just think they do. They think there are Mexicans pouring across the border when, in fact, the traffic is in the opposite direction. They think there’s a problem with refugees from [the banned] seven countries coming into the United States and staging terrorist attacks when that’s never happened.”

“It’s important to do the analysis, not in a completely value-free way, but in an open-minded way that … gathers data and shows empirically what the problem is and then designs options to deal with real problems,” Clarke said. What he’s observed of the Trump administration over the last month is rather different than open-minded: a “blind stumbling into things” is how he described it.

It’s not only Germany that covers up mass sex attacks by migrant men… Sweden’s record is shameful

We’re closing 2016 by republishing our ten most-read articles of the year. Here’s No. 5: Ivar Arpi’s piece, which was written following the mass sex attacks on women celebrating New Year’s Eve in Cologne. In his article, Arpi says that authorities in Sweden covered up similar incidents involving migrant men

Stockholm

It took days for police to acknowledge the extent of the mass attacks on women celebrating New Year’s Eve in Cologne. The Germans were lucky; in Sweden, similar attacks have been taking place for more than a year and the authorities are still playing catch up. Only now is the truth emerging, both about the attacks and the cover-ups. Stefan Löfven, our Prime Minister, has denounced a ‘double betrayal’ of women and has promised an investigation. But he ought to be asking this: what made the police and even journalists cover up the truth?

The answer can be discovered in the reaction to the Cologne attacks. Sweden prides itself on its sexual equality and has even pioneered a feminist foreign policy. When hundreds of women were reported to have been molested and abused in Cologne — at the hands of an organised mob — the reaction from Swedish politicians and pundits ought to have been one of outrage.

Instead, we were told that the events in Cologne were not unusual. An article in Aftonbladet, Sweden’s largest tabloid, argued that it was racist to point out that the perpetrators in Cologne had been described as North African or Arab, since German men had carried out sexual assaults during Bavaria’s Oktober-fest. Another Aftonbladet article said that reporting on the Cologne attacks was bowing to right-wing extremism. Over the last week, we have been told over and over that the real issue is men, not any particular culture — that Swedish men are no better.

Then last week Sweden’s own stories began to emerge. During the We Are Sthlm music festival, large groups of young men harassed girls sexually. It began in 2014 and it also went on during last year’s festival. According to internal police reports the groups were ‘so-called refugee youths primarily from Afghanistan’. The youngest of the victims was 12 years old.

The police claimed that there were ‘relatively few crimes and arrests considering the number of participants’. Internal reports told a different story. The police were shocked enough by the harassment to try to come up with a strategy to handle the groups of molesters at the festival — a strategy that was evidently unsuccessful. The trouble was that they were trying to deal with a problem but would not speak its name. As Peter Ågren, police chief in central Stockholm, put it: ‘Sometimes we do not dare to say how things really are because we believe it will play into the hands of the Sweden Democrats.’ As we now know, police officers in Stockholm are instructed not to reveal the ethnicity or nationality of any suspects lest they be accused of racism.

The Sweden Democrats are the anti-immigration populist force in Sweden — no longer a fringe element but the third–largest party after the election of 2014. Opinion polls suggest they are growing ever stronger. They are reviled by all other parties, who try to fight them by rejecting their every claim as baseless. As a result, immigration cannot be discussed frankly in Sweden. If you mention anything negative about refugees or immigration, you’re accused of playing into the hands of the reviled far-right. As a result, even legitimate concerns are silenced or labelled xenophobic. The recent migration crisis has changed this only slightly.

When a country cannot hold honest debates, there are consequences. Take Roger Ticoalu, director of events at Stockholm City Council. He said he had been utterly unaware of the risk of such attacks:

‘It was a modus operandi that we had never seen before: large groups of young men who surround girls and molest them.’

The German police made a similar point: they are used to handling drunks. But gangs of young men encircling and then groping women at large public gatherings: who has ever heard of such a thing?

In the Arab world, it’s something of a phenomenon. It has a name: ‘Taharrush gamea’. Sometimes the girls are teased and have their veils torn off by gangs of young men; sometimes it escalates into rape. Five years ago, this form of attack was the subject of an award-winning Egyptian film, 678. Instances of young men surrounding and attacking girls were reported throughout the Arab Spring protests in Cairo in 2011 and 2012. Lara Logan, a CNN journalist covering the fall of Hosni Mubarak, was raped in Tahrir Square. Taharrush gamea is a modern evil, and it’s being imported into Europe. Our authorities ought to be aware of it.

But they can’t be made aware, when any mention of the issue is discouraged. This leaves the police unprepared, and leaves the public feeling not just vulnerable but deceived. It doesn’t take a conspiracy theorist to wonder how many more instances there have been where Swedish police have taken political considerations into account before disclosing information.

Before Dan Eliasson became Sweden’s national police commissioner, he tweeted that he ‘vomited’ when he saw Jimmie Åkesson, party leader of the Sweden Democrats, on television. To what degree were his own personal political views imprinted on the Swedish police? Were the officers who covered up the sexual harassments responding to signals from Eliasson? Did they think that making a fuss about immigrant crime was a bad career move, and did that stop them doing their duty?

Even now, Swedes are still trying to figure out what exactly has been going on. Reports are emerging of Taharrush gamea-style harassment in Malmö on New Year’s Eve. According to police reports, hundreds of refugee youths from Afghanistan roamed around and ‘surrounded intoxicated girls/women and harassed them’. Similar incidents are being reported from towns such as Kalmar and Karlstad. The Finnish authorities are handling reports of organised sexual harassment perpetrated by Iraqi immigrants.

We Swedes pride ourselves on our unrivalled record on respecting women’s rights. But when women’s rights conflict with the goal of accommodating other cultures, it’s almost always women who are pushed to the side. This week, the chattering classes in Sweden will be worrying about how this story plays into the hands of the Sweden Democrats. But events have moved beyond that. The truth may be painful. Yet, as we have seen, concealing the truth is worse.

How Sweden became an example of how not to handle immigration

 Stockholm

For a British boy to be killed by a grenade attack anywhere is appalling, but for it to happen in a suburb of Gothenburg should shatter a few illusions about Sweden. Last week’s murder of eight-year-old Yuusuf Warsame fits a pattern that Swedes have come slowly to recognise over the years. He was from Birmingham, visiting relatives, and was caught up in what Swedish police believe is a gang war within the Somali community. Last year, a four-year-old girl was killed by a car bomb outside Gothenburg, another apparent victim of gang violence. For years, Sweden has regarded itself as a ‘humanitarian superpower’ — making its mark on the world not by fighting wars but by offering shelter to war’s victims. Refugees have arrived here in extraordinary numbers. Over the past 15 years, some 650,000 asylum-seekers made their way to Sweden. Of the 163,000 who arrived last year, 32,000 were granted asylum. Sweden accepts more refugees in proportion to size of population than any other nation in the developed world — when it comes to offering shelter, no one does it better. But when it comes to integrating those we take in (or finding the extra housing, schools and healthcare needed for them), we don’t do so well.

It may be news to the rest of the world, but gang warfare has been a feature of our country for years now. Stockholm has been witness to Dickensian scenes of young pickpockets and thieves playing games of cat-and-mouse with the police, who feel powerless. Until fairly recently, Sweden was admired for its progressive social policies. Today, one in seven voters supports the Sweden Democrats, a populist party until recently reviled in polite Swedish society.

The problems relating to immigration have been building up for years, but the country’s left and right were united in maintaining employment regulations and rent controls that kept immigrants unemployed in ghetto-like suburbs. As a result, we lost valuable time. Three years ago, there were riots in socially deprived areas of Stockholm, and it’s only got worse since then. A parallel society is emerging where the state’s monopoly on law and order is being challenged. ‘Today, the gang environment is — well, I don’t want to exactly call it the Wild West, but something in that direction,’ says Amir Rostami, an authority on Swedish organised crime who teaches at Stockholm University.

Integrating adults into Swedish society has been tricky enough, but a much more difficult problem is how to deal with all the unaccompanied children. During the Iraq war, about 400 children arrived without their parents each year — and all of them needed a place to live, social support and proper schooling. In 2014, when the number of children arriving annually hit 7,000, there were serious questions about how Sweden would cope. Last year, just over 35,000 unaccompanied children registered with the authorities.

The children are every age and arrive from all kinds of countries. Afghans and Somalis are currently the two biggest groups. Then come Syrians, Ethiopians, Iraqis, Moroccans and Eritreans. Some are fleeing war; many are fleeing poverty and misery. Strikingly, boys outnumber girls by about five to one. And it’s far from clear how many may in fact be adults — unlike other countries, Sweden doesn’t test for age. Whatever age the applicant gives is accepted, unless it’s ‘obviously’ untrue. The definition of ‘obvious’ is unclear. During one recent interview on Swedish radio, several asylum-seekers confessed to lying about their age to improve their chances of settlement. One, called Dawood, put it bluntly: ‘If I say I’m grown-up, they’ll deport me.’

The cost of accommodating our child refugees is enormous: £160 per child per day. That could be money well spent, if it worked. There are serious concerns, though, about children falling victim to predatory adults who have lied about their age. Earlier this year, a boy of 12 was raped in refugee accommodation by another refugee who claimed to be 15. A dental X-ray suggested the attacker was closer to 19. Later that month, a 22-year-old Swede (herself the daughter of immigrants) was stabbed to death by one of the refugees she was caring for — another adult claiming to be 15.

Such horrific stories raise the fear that the authorities have lost control. This is reflected in the extraordinary rise of the Sweden Democrats. There have also been a spate of attacks on refugee centres, some of which have been burnt down. For many, this seems like history repeating itself — similar attacks occurred in the 1990s, after a rapid influx of Balkan refugees. Such acts cast a dark shadow over our reputation for tolerance.

A while ago, I spoke to Lasse Siggelin, a social worker living in Gotland, who is alarmed at how many unaccompanied children are being placed in refugee care homes that seem hopelessly unfit for the task. Carers are instructed not to talk about the asylum process, or even to ask about the children’s backgrounds. ‘We can’t ask about their home, or about their parents,’ says Siggelin. ‘But such things occupy 90 per cent of their thoughts.’

Child refugees are sent to Swedish schools, but they struggle to integrate and are sometimes placed in separate groups, because of their vastly different learning needs. It’s pretty hard to bond with your classmates if you have to return every night to a care home. Even if school staff want to help, they seldom have the time or capacity to offer a shoulder to cry on. Instead, the children are directed to scheduled appointments with a child psychiatrist. As Siggelin explains, ‘If we don’t acknowledge the hurt and sadness that is there, then there are always people queuing up prepared to lead them astray.’

Those ‘queuing up’ include drug dealers, pimps, gangmasters and even jihadists. Sweden’s care homes have become a rich source of vulnerable young men who are full of frustration and hopelessness and lacking in direction. They may be open to the temptation of easy rewards, or of a path that they are promised will bring new meaning to their lives. There have been reports of Islamic State recruitment drives, not just in public places, but inside Swedish government programmes. Last year my newspaper, Svenska Dagbladet, exposed how some official schemes had been infiltrated by jihadists.

But stories of shocking abuse, the kind that would be front-page news in Britain, are relegated to the inside pages of the Swedish press. Tragically, the reason for this is that there is so much of it. In the last few weeks, we have heard about child prostitutes being pimped out in parking lots, and a Palestinian 15-year-old who, it is feared, was forced into prostitution while living in a care home in Malmo. For some time now, children in care homes have been notoriously easy prey and many of them simply vanish — over the past five years, well over a thousand have done so. These children face a sickeningly high risk of being sucked into a life of crime or even sex slavery. As their abusers well know, there is virtually no chance of anyone coming to look for the ones who go missing.

‘There is basically nothing we can do,’ says the head of Skane border police. ‘In some cases, we don’t even have descriptions of the children. So there is no means of identifying them… no information about relatives. We have nothing to work with.’ Lisa Green, who monitors human trafficking in Malmo, has reported 40 cases of suspected child trafficking to the police over the past few years but says her complaints were not even recorded. ‘Nobody is dealing with human trafficking,’ says Mattias Sigfridsson, head of the police department that deals with missing persons. ‘We have no ability to do that right now — there are no staff.’

In response to the crisis that threatens to overwhelm it, Swedish politics has become more realistic, less romantic. Passports are now being checked on the famous Oresund bridge that links Sweden with Denmark. As a result, the journey time has doubled, horrifying Malmo residents who like to regard their city as a satellite of Copenhagen, and making cross-border business more difficult. These new checks have helped fight other crimes, such as drug dealing and drink driving. (Sweden’s minister for sixth-form education failed a breathalyser test and later resigned.)

And still the authorities struggle to deal with the problem of what to do with migrants whose asylum claims are rejected. Between January and April this year, the Migration Agency handed over some 2,645 cases to the police for deportation. Just 1,255 of these are classified as complete — two thirds were deported by force, while the rest left the country voluntarily. Police estimate they will deport 4,000 people this year, up a third from last year, but not much of a dent in the 22,000 cases currently under consideration. Many, of course, will have been summoned and then suddenly disappeared into the expanding Swedish underworld.

As the refugees have arrived, ordinary Swedes have responded in an extraordinary way; individuals and families have opened up their homes, donated clothes and supplies, invested time and effort. Businesses have also found ways to help child refugees to integrate properly into Swedish society by offering opportunities for work. But with the best will in the world, it’s still a race against time.

‘If you are not prepared, you are unprepared.’ These are the words of Fredrik Reinfeldt, our former prime minister, and perfectly sum up Sweden’s migration crisis. We still hear politicians defiantly claim that our country is a humanitarian superpower — but they don’t do so as often, and they sound distinctly less smug when they do. The Swedish Way might not shine quite as brightly as a beacon to the world. But anyone who wants to find out how not to handle a migration crisis is welcome to pay us a visit.

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